Manta Ray Pictures, Images and Stock Photos

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Female scuba diver encounter with a Manta Ray in German Channel. The Republic of Palau and their islands are a unique destination for dive lovers with pristine reefs and abundant marine underwater life.

The ancient hawaiians used to believe manta rays will swallow the sun in their mouth at sunset and swim across the island to spit it out at sunrise. They are absolutely majestic creatures to look at underwater.

Manta rays are large rays belonging to the genus Mobula (formerly its own genus Manta). The larger species, M. birostris, reaches 7 m (23 ft) in width, while the smaller, M. alfredi, reaches 5.5 m (18 ft). Both have triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing mouths. They are classified among the Myliobatiformes (stingrays and relatives) and are placed in the family Myliobatidae (eagle rays). They have the largest brains and brain to body ratio of all fish, and can pass the mirror test. Mantas are found in warm temperate, subtropical and tropical waters. Both species are pelagic; M. birostris migrates across open oceans, singly or in groups, while M. alfredi tends to be resident and coastal. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they gather with their open mouths as they swim. However, research suggests that the majority of their diet (73%) actually comes from mesopelagic sources. Gestation lasts over a year and mantas give birth to live pups. Mantas may visit cleaning stations for the removal of parasites. Mantas are rarely seen breaching and it is thought this is either to attract a mate or to rid themselves of parasites Fever of Rays

Manta ray in shallow waters eating small a "brunch" of fishes. These big mantas have a tactic to push the schools of fishes toward the surface, when they are eaten in a frenzy feeding action. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton, which they swallow with their open mouths as they swim.

Giant Manta Mobula birostris occurs circumglobal in tropical to temperate waters, mainly in near-shore waters, near coral and rocky reefs where feeding on plankton. Common length is 450cm, maximum length over 900cm! These specimen were attracted by an immense density of plankton, attracted by intense light. Simply put a lot of light on a shallow reef and wait! The unusual colour of the Mantas is generated by the low colour temperature of the lamps. USA, Hawai'i, West Coast Big Island at 8-10m depth 19°44'13.5" N 156°3'16.271" W

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